UPDATE: Sheldon Adelson, billionaire and CEO of Sands Corp., pulled out of the funding deal for a $1.9 billion NFL stadium for the Raiders in Las Vegas, according to ESPN. Adelson had committed to funding $650 million toward the project, but reportedly withdrew after being excluded from the team's recent lease proposal.
After Adelson announced he would no longer offer financial support to the proposed venue, the Raiders said the team would raise its contribution to $1.15 billion to cover Adelson's portion. The shakeup has led other investors to reconsider their commitments, potentially putting the project in jeopardy, ESPN reported.
- The Raiders organization has submitted to the Las Vegas Stadium Authority a lease agreement that would allow the team to pay $1 a year to use the $1.9 billion proposed stadium, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
- If the plan comes to fruition, the LVSA would own the 65,000-seat stadium in return for Clark County's hotel-tax-funded contribution of $750 million, while the team would cover the remaining costs.
- The Raiders presented the agreement at the authority's last board meeting, but team executives said it was a first draft and noted that there would be further negotiations around the details. The team has selected a site for the new stadium and told the board that they have started preliminary talks with developers and contractors, according to KTNV.
Any lease agreement for the Las Vegas stadium hinges on NFL ownership approval of the Raiders relocation request, which they formally filed earlier this month. The NFL has been hesitant to consider Las Vegas for a franchise because of the city's legalized gambling industry, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said that he will not prevent a team's move to Las Vegas.
The Raiders filed for a move to Los Angeles last year, but the owners put the team third in line for a southern California slot behind the Rams and Chargers. At the time, the Chargers were still trying to work out a deal to stay in San Diego, but voters rejected a stadium proposal at the ballot box in November. After the vote, the city presented a possible plan for the team to stay at Qualcomm stadium — including a $1 lease provision — but team owner Dean Spanos was reportedly insulted by the offer, which included the team paying millions in maintenance and upgrade costs. Spanos then decided to move the Chargers to Los Angeles to share the Rams' new $2.6 billion stadium.
By that time, however, the Raiders had worked out their own deal with Las Vegas, even though Oakland is hoping for a last-minute miracle that would see the team stay at their current stadium.